Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, Cape Town

Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens lies just behind Table Mountain in Cape Town and I wrote about the history of the Gardens on London Traveller. Here I am going to indulge myself further in enjoying the scenery and the plants.

Kirstenbosch Map

Please, please grow!

I saw the wonderful springtime show  in The Frustrated Gardener’s coastal garden and felt inspired by the stunning display of colour and the lush growth. I would like something like that, I thought, and went outside to inspect ‘The Fernery’ whereupon inspiration turned to despair. How on earth am I going to turn this ghastly mess of assorted ugly pots into a calm haven? I daren’t show you the rest of the area!

The side garden in London

A few days of hard work and ‘The Fernery’ is tidy, and bare, a display of ugly pots. However, I have planted deep blue trailing lobelia, red trailing geraniums, and lime-green ‘creeping Jenny’ at the sides of the pots and so I am hoping for a cloud of colour. And in the pots there are grasses (Hakonechloa and Molinia Caerulea), red geraniums, Hebe (why not?), cistus cuttings from last year, and herbs.

The pots in 'The Fernery' The pots in 'The Fernery'

And the ferns? They are hiding in the depths of more seemingly empty pots! Please, please grow!

The Fernery, London

 

 

Dry & shady corner

I have a large laurel tree in one corner of the garden – it was meant to be a laurel bush, providing bay leaves for cooking, but I forgot to prune it… The 30-years tree was uncovered last year when the garden was restructured and it is the area in the tree’s shade which is giving me problems. It is light, not dark, and there is an hour of sunshine in the late afternoon, but that is all. I don’t want to leave it completely unplanted so I need to find plants which will flourish in these conditions.

Shady Corner
I am going to try these plants:
Acanthus Mollis – I have cuttings from the garden in Suffolk so would like to use ‘free’ plants first. The problem will be the snails – will the plants establish before they are eaten to pieces.
Cornus ‘Flaviramea’ – an unwanted bush travelled down from the Suffolk garden.
Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ – I have two bushes which I hope will establish. They grew quite well in the first year, supported by a metal hoop, and the buds are swelling nicely at the moment.

Acanthus Mollis (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acanthus_mollis5.jpg)

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’

And underneath and roundabout I am going for plants which are reliable:
Saxifrage ‘London Pride’, Bergenia ‘Abendglut’, Euphorbia ‘Amgdaloides’, and I am thinking about Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. 
I would love to tuck in some Iris Foetidissima somewhere, and what about Myrrhis Odorata – Sweet Cicely

What do you think? Will it work?

You may be interested in
The Greener Dream – super blogsite with lots of information & source of photo of ‘London Pride’

Stellenbosch Botanic Gardens

I loved these gardens and returned more than once to just wander and enjoy.

The shady patio bed planted!

I wrote earlier about the Patio Bed and how the planting wasn’t quite right.

Colours in Suffolk

I have been digging, clearing and dividing in Suffolk and need a moment to enjoy the colours in the garden. I hope all the bare patches will soon become green and colourful!

The front garden from the bedroom window
The front garden from the bedroom window

Karoo Desert Botanic Garden, Worcester

I visited this amazing garden on a scorchingly hot day in February – it was at least 35C. The Karoo Desert National Botanic Garden lies just outside the town of Worcester, in the Cape Province, under the Hex River Mountains. The garden is quiet and has a conveniently placed restaurant near the entrance which serves food and ice-cold drinks.The garden was originally established near Matjiesfontein in 1921 as the Logan Memorial Garden, moving to Worcester in 1945. The garden covers 144 hectares of natural vegetation, and 11 hectares are cultivated. It is promoted as the only succulent garden in the southern hemisphere

The restaurant in the Karoo Desert Botanic Gardens
The restaurant in the Karoo Desert Botanic Gardens